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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  October 19, 2013 10:00am-11:01am EDT

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. this is al jazeera america, life from new york city. i'm richelle carey with a look at the top stories. a nationwide manhunt continues to two killers released from prison by mistake. they were serving life sentences but walked free with the help of forged documents. they are believed to be hiding in the workers.
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... by the monday commute. rushing to get married in new jersey, same-sex couples will be allowed to get married in new jersey. the high court refused to delay a lower court ruling. new jersey is the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage. those are the headlines. "consider this" is next. for updates go to the website thank you for your time. i'm richelle carey. >> it's the stuff hollywood
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thrillers are made of and american photojournalists kidnapped by islamic extremists. after 81 days in captivity he lives to tell the story tonight on consider this. also, is the united nations still relevant, a u.n. secretary general joins us, under allegation of abuse by peace keepers, has very significant ongoing importance in the world. a beautiful woman goes undercover to expose abuse, and she becomes first lady. i'm anthony mora. , recent dramas including home lands show the horrors of abduction. >> one of the delta's found
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something else. >> i'm an american. >> an even more terrifying glimpse of a kid flapping inside syria comes from the show home land is based on, the israeli drama, prisoners of war. are. >> both shows delve into the unlikely alliances sometimes formed in captivity. photojournalist jonathan was kidnapped by a group near damascus. he endured persecution. he also taught their leader how to swim.
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joining us is jonathan, a 34-year-old photographer with thing new york polaris agency. held by 81 days by islamic fighters in syria. glad to have you here, why did you end up going to syria? we just mentioned how many journalists have been killed there, how many are being held hostage. it is referred to as a journalist graveyard. why did you go there? >> this is my third time. he went there two other times covering the fighting there. this time i wanted to do something a little bit different, the nature of the war in damascus is quite different. going through lebanon, the border is controlled by the regime and hezbollah. >> very difficult to get through. >> exactly. >> you wanted to focus on different elements of the
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rebels. you were in a car, with your fixer, someone who was helping you out and also two rebels and you were on your way to this area near damascus, a town called rankas, 20 miles north of damascus. there was a bomb that landed in that area just this past week. here's some pictures of that. what happened? >> well, basically, the day before, i'd basically two more days before i was going to go back to lebanon. so this was the end of my trip and i told my fixer i want to go near zebedani very near the front line in the damascus area and to be pegged or embed with the rebel unit for about a day, i would go back to yabrut and back to lebanon. >> you knew these were islamic kidnappers?
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>> i knew they kidnapped syrians, anybody out there. >> the fact that the fixer was eescorting you out there? >> i trusted them. >> they all ended up being in on what happened. they ended up kidnapping you. what was that first moment like? >> in my mind it felt like a dream. they dragged me out of the car, put me on my knees, and pretended to execute me with a pistol. they do that so you don't do anything dangerous to them. they took me to another town where i was held captive. >> how long were you held? >> the first place 20 days. >> were there anyone besides you? >> two officers and three soldiers and that's it. >> how were you treated at first? >> the first few weeks i was hard, i was blind folded and
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handcuffed to the bed. and i could only leave that room once a day to go to the bathroom. i was in the dark basically being bombed every single day. >> you feared for your life in two different ways. >> at first i was more worried getting killed executed by these guys more than getting bombed. at that time i felt if i was going to die by shelling it was going to be quick and that would have been it and i was kind of looking forward to it more than going to -- >> kind of a horrible thing to say. >> you level everything, everything becomes relative. you make your decisions like that. >> you were moved to another location? >> i was moved to another house i would say about a half a mile away south. and my condition -- my everyday conditions got better. there were different guys, same group, i was still chained up to a window about ten days and that ended and i was able to move around and stuff like that. >> at that point were there other people there other
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captives? >> no. >> when did you witness people being tortured? >> they basically by mid june, they brought in four prisoners who were assad's soldiers ultimately and they would torture the next room over for a week straight. so basically officers are watching me. they would go to the next room and torture them for an hour to two hours each night. i would hear them. they would come back and we would smoke cigarettes with them and nothing happened. >> so what happened? >> they disappeared. they were probably executed. they were to be executed or -- >> there your conditions once they took you off the cuff and off the window, you then had something freedom, and at that point what kind of a relationship had you developed with these guys? you obviously already had some of a relationship with some of them but with the rest of it? >> for them it was not personal. they had nothing against me.
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it was probably more business to get money eventually. >> had they told you that? do you know they were trying to sell you? >> no, no, no. i imagine this could be an option. they accused me of being a spy for quite some time. i didn't really know. one of the ways for me to make my daily conditions better was to become like them so i would pray with them, like you were saying cook with them sometimes or count ammunition with them, they were fighting a lot, hezbollah was coming close to where we were. and i was learning the language growing my beard, becoming more like them that really helped. >> what was it like? you hear about the stockholm syndrome. were you identifying with them at all? >> over time do you. you go through everything with them, there was so much danger around, they were suffering and you were suffering with them. obviously they come friendly with you too you were a nice person and obviously because you go through these events with them.
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>> and the most bizarre story, the second place they held you had a swimming pool. >> the lawyers had an empty swimming pool and they filled it up with water. they forced me to go in the pool. i was in my unde underwear. they asked me to swim so i did it. and so out of nowhere the leader shows up in an hawaiian swim trunk and nothing else. >> sorry to laugh but it just seems so ludicrous. an hawaiian swim trunks, the jihad dist who kept you prisoner and may be an executioner. we went in the swimming pool, i taught him to swim after two hours he could actually swim around the pool.
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>> what was the situation as you could see it beyond your captivity? what was going on with all these jihaddist groups that seemed to be gaining more and more power within syria? >> i remember when i was covering the wawr for cnn -- war for cnn last year, you could tell some of these rebel groups were becoming more islamic oriented, you had foreigners to do gee la jihad, religion is a way for them to find strength. when i was held captive, homes fell and we were being attacked more and more and it was becoming more and more difficult. >> two and a half months into it, all of a sudden they move you. what did they tell you? >> nothing. two days before i was released these two guys came in and they filmed mee with a camera and -- me with a camera and this had happened before so i didn't think much of it and two days
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later i was driven back to yabrut and i was hidden in an apartment and driven by shabihas ultimately, back to jerusalem and i was shipped back to iran. >> basically you learned you were ransomed? >> that's what i was told. >> by who? >> a syrian man close to the regime. who wanted to make a good name for himself. >> with whom? >> with the western world. a lot of these syrian men could not travel, they were black listed by the eu and by doing this could be a way for them to -- >> you don't know who this is? >> i do know who this is i can't say publicly. >> paid an awful lot of money. >> he is a very wealthy man. >> he was willing to do that
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just to get in the good graces of the european community? >> exactly. >> are you concerned that successful kidnappings like yours if you can describe it as successful, successful certainly for the terrorist who ended up with all of this money, would that encourage more of them to do it and to kidnap more westerners who are in syria? >> they have been doing that more and more and i believe because the rebellion is desperate. they have been losing this war since the past i would say four to five months now and assad is takings over all the big cities, the rebels will not get it back and money is a way for them to get weapons and stuff like that. of course some islamist groups are capturing western journalists just because it could be a card for them to use later. >> of course you are concerned about these people who are being held hostage now. have you heard anything about them? >> very little.
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it's hard to get to know what's going on. you get all kinds of information left and right and it's impossible to know. >> how do you think things are going to play out in syria in the months to come? >> assad is launching major campaigns. >> how are you doing? >> i've been back, very lucky could have been a worse situation for that so i'm grateful for that. >> night merits? >> i -- nightmares? >> i did in the beginning not so much anymore. >> will you ever go back? >> to syria, no. i did three times. >> similar places? >> wars, we'll see guys like us it's kind of in us so it's hard to let it go. >> we wish the best to the people who are there and under terrible circumstances. jonathan we appreciate you being here with us tonight. coming up new revelations
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from edward snowden take us inside the al qaeda militant and shows the incredible power of the nsa.
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>> new revelations show how the u.s. tracked down and killed the notorious al qaeda leader in pakistan. those revelations are brought by edward snowden. in an effort to track hassan goul, who helped reestablish al qaeda's logistics networks in pakistan. tracking an e-mail from goul's wife enabled the cia to target and kill goul in a drone strike in 2012.
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i'm joined by greg gold the one of the point people who have worked with edward snowden. greg thank you for joining us. one of the things you said is that snowden's documents show extensive involvement involvement by the cia. you quote a former intelligence official as saying if you wanted huge coverage of the fattah, pakistan's tribal area, 100 times the brain power, we provided the map and they just filled in the pieces. is it fair to say that the nsa did exactly what it was supposed to do? >> yes, and that's one of the points of the pieces. the nsa's leadership since the documents started leaking have been trying to emphasize that the agency's main functions are foreign intelligence gathering going after targets, and this is a detailed look how they go
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about doing that. >> and there's been so much secrecy, pre-9/11 and after-9/11, we created a security apparatus to help to protect the home land against terrorist attacks, is there any way why the nsa and the cia shouldn't collaborate? >> we have known they would, we didn't know how or how deeply. the drone program as you know has long been kind of depicted and seen as the exclusive domain of the cia. we're's describing the cia's drone program. but what these documents make clear is the cia couldn't do what he does in pakistan and yemen and elsewhere without help from other agencies especially the nsa. let's talk about the person your reports focus he on.
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hassan goul. the al qaeda leader in iraq, this was in 2003, goul was later detained after entering iraq again in 2004. after he was detained he was a crucial person in the whole process of finding bin laden because he disclosed bin laden used a courier always referred to as al kuwaiti. , at that point goul was transferred to pakistani custody and rejoined in 2007. one of the controversies in the whole bin laden assassination was just how interrogators got that information from goul that led to bin laden. what did you learn. >> hassan goul had this really odd uncanny ability to keep resurfacing in that post-september 11 story line and
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because of that crucial tip that he provided, the identity or at least the sort of non de guerre of the courier that bin laden trusted, his ability to pack down bin laden in pakistan. we have this movie, zero dark 30, and there's been argument and debate on which the cia's enhanced interrogation program got that. how goul had been captured by kurdish authorities in iraq in an operation orchestrated by the cia, while he was in kurdish authorities, scriptby the cia that he made this revelation or disclosure. so it was before he even entered the cia's secret prison system. >> and what surprised me in reading all of this is that he was ever let go. he was then in pakistani custody and how he managed to then head
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back out and do the damage he may or may not have done afterwards before he was killed. >> right. i mean his story is really a remarkable one because he is a cia black site in eastern europe for two years and then when the bush administration closed down those prisons in 200614 of those prisoners were transferred to guantanamo bay. they weren't seen as high value enough to be brought to kook ah so there was a scramble to find places for him. pakistan wanted goul back. they thought they had insurances that goul would stay in jail. but he had contacts to other terrorist organizations and made his way up into northwest pakistan and into al qaeda's fold.
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>> it raises questions about the relationship of the united states and the pakistani intelligence apparatus. really shows some incredible stuff about the nsa's extraordinary ability to penetrate any kind of digital devices around the world. and my question to you is, where do you draw the line on what you can put in the paper without giving away too much about the nsa's sources and methods? >> well, it's a really good question and a actuality question. i can tell you that this story which ran just this week in our paper didn't run until we'd had extensive discussions with u.s. officials from multiple intelligence agencies and basically outlined for them in these conversations what was in the documents, what we were planning to write about and gave them a chance to raise concerns or objections. so i mean we ended up with holding a fair amount of detail that was very highly specific, often about very specific
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operations. but we kept a lot of that out because the government made a pretty convincing case that disclosing that wasn't really going to add to the story significantly or that there wasn't a significant public right to know those details and could harm u.s. security, could harm ongoing operations. >> but the article provides a number of details on how the nsa does its work and in some cases you bring up an example of -- you talk about case officers thousands of miles away conducting what amounts to a raid on safe houses in pakistan because of their ability to enter those houses electronic cli. electronically. my question is why would those groups usefully kind of digital communication anymore? >> that is a question we have asked over and over and over again since shortly after the 9/11 attacks and the answer when you talk to intelligence officials is they can't not use these devices. it is impossible to run a network without doing
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so. bin laden given all those precautions he took in that compound in abadabad, usb device that would be carried out of that compound and plugged into a computer. there isn't really an option. the al qaeda has gotten better about its own security and it's constantly learning and adapting but people make mistakes all the time. especially in these communication systems. and these communication systems have become so sophisticated that in some ways has just expanded the number of ways that an agency like the nsa can come after a target. >> you as we mentioned have been very involved with edward snowden in this whole process of what he leaked. what's it like to work with him? >> well, i mean i can't claim to have had any really personal or direct dealings with him. barton
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gelman who is my colleague at the post has obviously met with snowden and was the initial point of contact with him. i keep saying that one of the things that snowden said was his goal was to trigger a debate about these programs. and whatever conclusion you draw about his motivation or his patriotism or lack thereof, i mean he certainly has succeeded in that aim. >> we were just looking at video of him in russia recently and he made more news this week in an interview with the new york times. he traveled through hong kong in his way to asylum in russia. noted, quote, there's a zero percent chance that the russians and chinese have received any documents. you have worked carefully to not give away any notion of documents but what do you
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believe on this item? >> he believed his own security precautions were sufficient there to keep the chinese from getting access to them. it's hard to know. >> it must be very hard to know. how can he really know? he says he knows a lot about the chinese counterterrorism and cyber-capabilities but it must be difficult for him to say that confidently. >> it is a contradiction in his character. here is a guy that's responsible for one of the most significant leaks and breaches but he's also very confident and knowledgeable about them and purports to take great care in the way he handles this material. he's given it to journalists but he's maintained he's kept it secure from other governments. all i can tell you is that senior intelligence officials obviously don't take his word for that and they just assume the worst. they just worse-case-scenario
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their planning of what edward snowden made off with and who may have it here. >> the outgoing general keith alexander says the nsa needs greater capacity to fight the groups that attack the u.s. it is essential that the nsa has greater responsibilities. do you think it's possible given the fallout from snowden's reports? >> i don't think so. i mean maybe perhaps in the sort of cyber-- defense areas which haven't been a central piece of the snowden leaks. but i think the nsa and the other intelligence services affected by the snowden leaks at this point are in a fight to preserve the authorities that they have. it doesn't look like now they're going to see those weakened considerably. it looks like you're going osee some additional transparency around some of those programs, some additional requirements, reporting requirements, some additional kind of public disclosure of court rulings in
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connection with these programs. but it doesn't really look, at this point, like any of these operations are going to be scaled back in a major way or advanced. >> greg miller of the washington post really appreciate your time. >> sure, thank you. straight ahead, the u.n. seems powerless to stop a civil war in syria. a u.n. secretary-general will join us. >> a young on inside story, we bring together unexpected voices closest to the story, invite hard-hitting debate and desenting views and always explore issues relevant to you.
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re# #a# #d# #y# ##fo# #r# ## >> hi, i'm phil torrez. coming up this week on techknow:
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>> it's going to get bumpy over here it looks like. >> we drop like a rock, and then you experience zero g's. >> this is a modified dc8 with about 28 different instruments on the outside. >> it's one wild ride. we're flying at 300 feet over the gulf of mexico. come aboard nasa's laboratory in the sky. >> the united nations has faced years of criticism for lack of transparency and effectiveness and inaction. the u.n. has been powerless from stopping syria from killing its citizens, accused of making a ma cholera outbreak worse. in the outbreak, covered up widespread corruption the organization has made a concerted effort for more transparency.
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thanks in part to people like our next guest the u.n. office for project services, an assistant u.n. attorney general. the u.n. has faced all sorts of charges about ineffectiveness. hasn't been able to stop syria from killing its civilians and other scandals. >> the u.n. definitely doesn't exit in a vacuum. it is a reflection of what goes on in the outside world. it certainly has its own weaknesses and faults. but it's the kind of organization that is very relevant today and very much needed. if someone wakes up today and doesn't have a u.n, you would probably have to recreate it the next day because the need is very much there. >> what is the u.n. trying to do
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to make sure that that doesn't happen in the future and to make it clear that they are an open organization, not a closed organization that's hiding anything? >> as we very correctly pointed out it's a huge deal for unops to become very transparent entity. as part of that drive as early as the beginning of 2010 we decided to release all data with regard to expenditure on our projects online. it's not just available on demand to those who are interested, it is publicly released for anyone who wants to see. >> that's why u.n.ops -- >> it was a novelty but then quite a few other agencies disurded to follow suit. right? as the next step we decided to go ahead and see if it's possible for u.n. entity to meet all standards prescribed by
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ayate, which is an international agency on transparency. we exceed he them by a good margin. >> if the u.n. went away you mentioned we'd have to have another u.n. in a few days. why? partly because what your organization does, unops does? >> i can share to you a story that i did not mention to anybody before. i traveled to west africa from nigeria, by car, we needed to stop at the border to get a stamp on my via. veez vee is a. visa. he sort of snatched it away from me and then showed it proudly to a group of people, near him, and he said look at me and listen to me. these people are from united nations. they help people around the world. it was very touching.
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>> must have been a great moment for you, because of what you do is help people in all sorts of different ways. describe the mission of u.n. ups. >> we have a mandate to be a central procurement source so we buy things. >> buy things for needy people? >> absolutely. we also build things. police stations, prisons. believe it or not. >> schools? >> schools, clinics, roads around the world. >> and those are big numbers. >> thousands of kilometers of roads in very difficult areas. we would not build highways from new york to boston, we would go to southern and eastern afghanistan, many roads in sri lanka and south da. we don'sudan. we don't have to go there, because there's nobody else who can do it and who wants to do it. >> and you try to also use
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locals as much as possible, not only are you helping out by building, but you are providing employment around the world. >> united nations is very much about multiownership and multinational creativity, we help them create their own companies. in certain countries and in certain areas of those countries it is very difficult for us to outsource to local companies because in many cases they just don't exist. we help to create those companies train people and start submitting bids for future tenders. >> you are talking about a billion dollars a year being spent right? where does the money come from? >> the money would come from bilateral donors and when it comes to middle income countries, i'll explain that in a second. from donors. when we work with middle income countries, the likes of
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argentina, peru and so forth, they would contribute under international institutions, press is very robust if you spend money on the wrong purpose it is be in their use tomorrow. they feel we provide the best solution for money and things fast in a very efficient manner. nobody can do it better. when we work in the call so-called least developed countries or countries in war torn states, it could be from the united states, could be in the u.k, that kind. >> it's knot taxpayer money in the united states, that's one of the big criticisms of people who don't like the u.n, say u.s. shouldn't be providing too much money. u.s. taxpayer dollars are not really going othose things.
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>> in this case we are not. it is the one u.n. agency that is fullyself-funded. we aren't much different than the private sector, we have to earn our keep. >> how do you do it? you're involved in the plas last numbers i saw some 130 countries in the world, you are in some very, very dangerous parts of the world. >> indeed. our biggest programs would be in countries like afghanistan, sudan, sri lanka, iraq, yemen. it's not easy to operate in reasons. there are security challenges. the government in some areas is still not in the area we would like to be. >> that's an understatement when you speak about smol yah.
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let's talk about somalia specifically. the government attacked in mogadishu, eight u.n. workers were killed. why stay in places that are that dangerous? >> if we are not there in most cases united nations will not be able to operate. because we have our own ways of surviving in very difficult circumstances. that means we have to engage the local community. we have to speak to people on the grass roots level and we have to make certain that they like our presence. because the way things are done, in very many cases, i can cite some examples, it's actually the local communities that save our people from entities like al shabaab as i mentioned. we try to do it in a smart way because the kinds of projects that we implement, let's say mine clearance in somalia, when we do that project the right way, in
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the perverse way -- in the reverse way it somehow bts al shabaab because it's in their area. >> there is a new report that says the u.n. has uncovered another al shabaab plot against the u.n. >> these things april all the time, no surprise. >> you're separating u.n. day next week, the anniversary of the founding of the united nations. why is that a significant event? >> well, i don't think this particular event is any more significant than the one last year but for us it is still very important. because the way we look at it, it's everybody's united nations. we make mistakes. some think that we do maybe frustrating. we compress that frus -- we express that frustration, it's very important that things get done better. it's very important that people don't look upon the united nations as an outside agency and complain about it. it's their u.n. and together we
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can make it better. >> where do you see the u.n. 20 years from now? >> i think they will -- this is my guess, you know? i will have to speculate a little bit. i think there will be more countries represented on the security council, because we can see that some countries have a common extremely influential not just in terms of economics but also politically. >> there's been a lot of criticism of the security council because of its ineffectiveness, they can't agree on anything. >> this is true but down the road if there is more presence in all corners of the world on the security council, eventually that will be beneficial to all of us. because when all views are correctly represented it is easier to get solutions. >> clearly, the u.n. has a big role to play in a plot of different areas of the world. the head assistant secretary general of the united nations and the head of u.n.
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ops. appreciate you coming in. >> thank you. turns out the meet roar it as could be the taste of things to come. what happens when social media uncovers unheard, fascinating news stories? >> they share it on the stream. >> social media isn't an after-thought, it drives discussion across america. >> al jazeera america's social media community, on tv and online. >> this is your outlet for those conversations. >> post, upload and interact. >> every night share undiscovered stories.
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(vo) al jazeera america we understand that every news story begins and ends with people. >> the efforts are focused on rescuing stranded residents. (vo) we pursue that story beyond the headline, past the spokesperson, to the streets.
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>> thousands of riot police deployed across the capitol. (vo) we put all of our global resources behind every story. >> it is a scene of utter devastation. (vo) and follow it no matter where it leads, all the way to you. al jazeera america. take a new look at news. this is the 900-page document we call obamacare. my staff has read the entire thing. can congress say the same? >> a team of researchers has found something they believe could end western civilization in 20 years and it has nothing to do with the kardashians. uvainian scientists have discovered an asteroid, its name is pretty clunky.
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2013 tv 135. nasa insist the chances are small only one in 138,000. the asteroid already rocketed past the u.s. 17 times the accident happens to the moon. if it hit it would cause damage 50 times worse than the largest nuclear bomb ever detonated. the comet that was believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs was much bigger more than six miles in diameter. remember the meet meet yore it meteorites, that smashed into new york? a 40 foot asteroid, came a close call, only about 1/14 the distance of the moon and closer than some satellites that we
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use. the good news is asteroids only hit the ground only once every 12,000 years. but asteroids have done what individuals rarely can. they've gotten the nations together. technology that could blast asteroids out of the sky. there is a lot of push back what damage that would bring to the outer space, also the outer space treaty signed by 129 countries. where is the starship enterprise when we need it? coming up a beautiful
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that's all i have an real money. victoria azarenko
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>> one of the worst genocides of the late 20th century took place in east timor. war related starvation mass murders and diseases killed as
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many as 200,000 people a fifth of east timor's population today. closed off tod world by indonesia, exposed the horrors to the world. >> just sitting up, just started filming. >> the documentary alias ruby blade which will air here on al jazeera america at 9:00 sunday , focuses on christy sword, falling in live with its leader and ending up as the country's first lady. joining us are the country's ruby blade herself, christy sword gusmal. joining us are alex
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melia, director. i thank you for joining us. after invadings east timor, not allowing journalists at all. in november of 1991, the people of east timor took to the streets in pro fest and in return the indonesiaian army took power. >> i was very determined to try to capture what was going on or something of it. >> they were supporting shanana, the current priement the current prime minister, who ask joining us. an undercover journalist shot that video. and christy you were working with those documentarians. is that what inspired you to
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become involved in this resistance movement? >> yes, i was working as a researcher and interpreter on the documentary film project yesterday by york shier shire television, and observed the human rights oppressions that were going on. and that galvanized my will to do something a little bit more for the country. i had been involved in the global solidarity movement, participated in protests and demonstrations in australia, for many years prior to that. but i really wanted to be a little bit closer to the action. and hence after my involvement in that film project i decided to move to jakarta, the capital of indonesia. >> and prime minister you were the leader of the rebels, captured in jakarta, and that's
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where christy became your undercover conduit. how important was it having someone like her helping you out? >> well, we had at the time, students where doctors were always watching . and then the first we took advantage of which was are and i didn't have secondary. >> and the documentary shows how you and christy ended up falling in love while you were behind bars and even though you saw
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each other in person only once. >> i would find myself film himself in his cell. and it was just about enhancing that sense of while being separate, a sense of a shared life, together, in the most strange unorthodox circumstances. >> a really strange and unorthodox. christy you began that love story connected through those love letters and videos. how were you able to smug back and forth and communicate without anybody noticing? >> well, thanks largely to the imminent corruptibilty of the prison guards. prison was designated as a high security, but fortunately largely due to the charisma of this man here, he was to win over the prison guards and
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actually have them sympathize very strongly with his cause. and so they were often willing, not only because of the monetary incentives but because of a genuine affection for the leader, willing to help us with exphug ling -- smuggling in and out documents and of course over time more challenging items like video cassette recorders. >> incredible. and alex you and tanya then go years later and learn about their story and you were shocked to find out that nobody had ever told it. >> yes, we were. we had been stationed in timor working for the united nations in 2005, traveled around the country and interviewed the resistance leaders, we were thinking about making a movie about this, and then we came across
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christy 's utah boygraphy. and the incredible story of her becoming a secret agent called ruby blade. we asked her if she had the tapes, she says yes, we're welcome to come and listen to them. she didn't know what condition they were. we had these love letters as you say, we roifd we had something very special. >> her president, a very charismatic leader, may 5th, 1999, the u.n. signed a three way agreement. >> i'm delighted to tell you that we have just signed the three agreements on east timor as you saw between the republic of indonesia and the
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republic of portugal. we will be offering the east timorees, a special state of wide ranging autonomy or going our separate ways in an honorable peaceful way. >> you know unfortunately very little honor after that. east timor was able to vote to be independent. but military decimating the country as it exited. then on may 20th of 2002 a new country was born, the first democratically created country of this century. christy, that must have been an incredible moment when you saw shanana become president. >> yes, i'm privileged to have a bird's eye view of that amazing ceremony, may of 2002. and indeed to be part of the whole incredible roller coaster
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of events that led up to the moment, including loss for the people of east timor. it was a great feeling of euphoria and one i will never forget. >> ta tanya, when you talk about filming this documentary -- >> one of the challenges was get getting christy in without having a security ento your entourage. there was a thing for christy after working there for many years as an undercover agent. >> and how does making this documentary, how was it different than others? you've worked on other
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documentaries including with michael moore. >> i feel like we had a very special responsibility to portray that story accurately, both historically and personally, to have the right kind of balance so the audience can see the film from the history and also balanced with the kind of personal insight point of view of it. so achieving that balance was a difficulty. >> and christy i know you're dedicated to improving east timor's literacy rate, 55% of women, 46% of men, that are illiterate. obviously, so many years of persecution and problems. how is the country doing today? >> well, there are still very many challenges. you know, after ten years of independence, remembering that the country really had to build all
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of its sensitive institutions of state from scratch, it's made tremendous progress. there's still a very long way to go. we started from such a low base, the statistics you just mentioned also point to some of their challenges particularly in the education sector. i established a foundation called the olala foundation back in 2001 to respond particularly to the needs of vulnerable women and children. timor has a very high rate of infant and maternal mortality. and my foundation is addressing that through educating women and girls at the village level about important issues and taxing on their livelihood. >> we wish you all the best and prime minister, christy,
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. . welcome to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. here are stories we are following. a deadly blast rocks the suburb of damascus, killing a dozen soldiers. >> a nationwide manhunt for two killers who walked free from a florida prison thanks to forged documents. >> six months of talks stalled - workers off the job in san francisco - stranding thousands. [ ♪ theme ] >> fighting and bloodshed again in syria des


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